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Old 01-27-2010
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Under Keel Clearance

I recently purchased my first cruiser, a Catalina 30 with a Draft of 5ft. I've never had to consider this as I would always moor with smaller boats. This may seem like a silly question but what is a safe slip or morring depth for a 5ft draft?
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Old 01-27-2010
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It depends how much tide there is in your area. But you will usually want 1-1.5' of depth below the keel at low tide. This will give you a bit of a buffer for astronomical and weather variations in the water level.

If you are on the central Chesapeake, you might get away okay with 5.5' in a pinch, but every so often you might settle in the mud (which on the Chesapeake generally is no worry). A slip/mooring with 6'+ would probably be ideal.
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Old 01-27-2010
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Thank you. That was very helpful. If you have any suggestions as to a reasonably priced slip as close to DC as possible that would be great. I'm not exactly looking for a club with full services, as I am in the Navy and will most likely be using the MWR marina for repairs and dry storage.
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Old 01-27-2010
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The bottom is only mud...

Quote:
Originally Posted by JustSomeGuyinDC View Post
Thank you. That was very helpful. If you have any suggestions as to a reasonably priced slip as close to DC as possible that would be great. I'm not exactly looking for a club with full services, as I am in the Navy and will most likely be using the MWR marina for repairs and dry storage.
And the extreme low tides generally come in the winter after sustained NW winds blow the water out of the Bay. I suppose in Washington, A drought would have some effect too.

I only have about 1 1/2' under my keel on an average low tide, and extreme low tides only cost me a few sailing days a year... generally when I wouldn't have gone anyway.

Good luck!

With shallow water you won't sink as deep, either! (see blog post Sail Delmarva: Search results for winter sailing) The boat next to me is sitting on the bottom!
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Old 01-27-2010
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Chesapeake mud is no problem in your slip. Once or twice a season we will have a tide low enough to strand some boatd. My draft is 5'6" and I've only been 'in the mud' twice in the past 3-years. Hey, if you can't sail you can still drink....:-)
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Old 01-27-2010
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Thanks for all of the advice, I am looking at a few slips with a 6ft depth. I hope that will be enough. But like you say...If I can't sail I can still drink.
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Old 01-27-2010
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Up here in SE Alaska we get minus three + foot tides .
A couple of the power boats sit on the bottom at minus two foot at one part of the harbor. Full keel or fin could have other issues
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Old 01-28-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustSomeGuyinDC View Post
Thank you. That was very helpful. If you have any suggestions as to a reasonably priced slip as close to DC as possible that would be great. I'm not exactly looking for a club with full services, as I am in the Navy and will most likely be using the MWR marina for repairs and dry storage.
Could you give us a bit more info? For instance, are you planning to keep the boat on the Potomac, or on Ches. Bay? Which MWR facility do you plan to use (e.g. Annapolis, Pax River, etc?)


P.S. I forgot to say, Welcome to Sailnet! And, thank you for your service to our country.
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Old 01-28-2010
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Well thank you. So far I've been very impressed with the site, and the help you all have provided. It seems like a great resource.

I am hoping to use the MWR at Annapolis. I am going to look at a private pier this weekend with a 6ft depth at low tide. The Pier is off the Magothy river. Any other suggestions?
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Old 01-28-2010
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Make sure the 6' depth is at the lowest, or reasonably lowest tides. As mentioned by one, Alaska is not the only place to have -4' tides per say, but that -4 is based on mean low sea level, or some such wording. I still have about 9' of total water depth during the 3-5 days we have lows in this range in puget sound. I realize you are on the east coast, so there is probably some difference in how things work, but also it is probably more similar than not!

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